Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “My Favorite Things” somehow nudged its way into the Christmas mainstream. Something about snowflakes staying on noses and eyelashes made it feel Christmasy enough for music labels to bite, but I personally think it makes for a better January song.

For me, January is, by far, the longest month of the year. Each of her 31 days is cold and dark and spring is still so far away. Dogs are biting, bees are stinging…metaphorically speaking, of course. There is no groundhog to give us hope, no cards that say “Be Mine” and certainly no boxes of chocolates that are, for whatever reason, totally kosher despite your New Year’s resolutions.

Speaking of resolutions, they make January seem so much longer, not to mention more arduous than normal too, don’t they? And don’t they say the first three to four weeks is the hardest part of forming a new habit? The sugar withdrawals, the sore muscles…Yes, these are long days indeed.

That is why, each January, I write a “Favorite Things” post on my blog, Oprah style. It’s become somewhat of a tradition now. A list of little things that brighten up my January doldrums.

Here is 2013’s list:

1.) Wool socks. I know this is nothing new, but I had never owned a pair until this winter. Life changing. They were a gift from a friend on a snowy day. It was the kind of gift that makes you vow to be more thoughtful and generous in the future, so grateful for kind friends and neighbors. My toes are toasty all day long with those babies. My feet won’t see cotton again until March.

2.) Kid Magazines. Few things perk up an afternoon for my kids like getting their favorite magazines in the mail. Our favorites over the years have included Ranger Rick Jr., Discovery Girls, Disney Princess Magazine, National Geographic Jr., and of course, The Friend.

3.) BB Cream. It primes, perfects, hydrates and corrects all for about $8 at the drug store. It has totally replaced my foundation. My favorites are the ones by L’Oreal and Covergirl. Love it!

4.) Bountiful Baskets. I’ve known about them for years but I never signed up until now. Fresh fruit and veggies at low prices plus wonderful options that vary from week to week. This week I got an entire flat (8 lbs.) of gorgeous strawberries for $13! In the middle of winter! And those berries have definitely earned a spot on our favorite things to eat list. Go to www.bountifulbaskets.org to find a co-op in your area.

5.) Imagine Dragons. It’s a rock band whose singer/songwriter is a BYU grad. The lyrics are clean and the bass is pumpin’. We pipe it through the house during chores, cooking dinner or just for impromptu dance parties. You can read more about them here.

6.) iMovie. We watched reels and reels of old family movies the other night and while it was a wonderful walk down memory lane, let’s be honest, they kind of dragged on. We probably won’t watch them again for another decade or so because they needed to be edited down to just the good stuff, (ie, nix the long pans of buildings and strangers). Background music wouldn’t hurt either. That’s why I’ve taken to creating watchable home movies using the footage from our iPhones. I don’t want all that footage to be lost forever in cyberspace and with all the video we take now these days, (it’s never been easier,) I know we’ll never sit down and watch it all if they’re not made into palatable, bite-sized, four minute entrees synched with our favorite jams. Plus, they’re a blast to make and the kids love to watch themselves. Better than any cartoon on TV.

So those are a few of the things keeping my moral up while the barometer is low. We’re almost to the end of January now. Soon I can buy Conversation Hearts and count the weeks until spring on one hand…*sigh* Here’s to January!

Read more by Margaret Anderson at www.jamsandpickles.wordpress.com